Merivale goes full Grinch and cancels staff party

The Merivale Group has cancelled its annual staff party following a forced wage increase by Fair Work.

The Fair Work Commission ruled this week that the company must start paying its 3000-strong workforce under the current hospitality award from March onwards.

For well over a decade, the billion dollar Sydney-based hospitality group has used a Work Choices-era “zombie” agreement with lower hourly rates of pay and almost non-existent penalties for weekend and public holiday shifts.

“Based on a sensible agreement with United Voice and yesterday confirmed by the Fair Work Commission, Merivale’s current Collective Agreement, which sets out the terms and conditions of employment for many of our staff, will reach its end date on 4 March 2019. From this date, our staff will transition to the relevant awards,” the company said in a statement.

In a surprise move on the same day as the Fair Work ruling, Merivale cancelled its string of staff social events that typically take place in January or February, which are seen as a reward for all the effort over the Christmas period.

“The annual party has been something the staff has looked forward to for the year,” one worker told news.com.au. “They’ve promised it all year.”